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Food Prices Decrease in April

Food Price Index: April 2000

Food Prices Decrease in April

Food prices in April 2000 were 0.5 per cent lower than in March 2000 according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices made the most significant contribution to the decrease. The fruit and vegetables subgroup and the meat, fish and poultry subgroup were also lower in price than a month earlier.

On an annual basis, food prices in April 2000 were 0.7 per cent lower than in April 1999.

Since September 1998, there have been 10 monthly increases and eight monthly decreases in food prices, with two months remaining unchanged. Prices are now at about the same level as they were in September 1998.

Grocery food prices, the largest contributor to the overall decrease, fell by 0.8 per cent in April 2000 and are 0.1 per cent lower than a year earlier. Price falls for potato crisps and snack food made the most significant downward contribution. Packets of sweets, which contributed significant increases in the March 2000 month recorded decreases in April 2000. Other decreases included frozen or chilled meat pies and soup powder. Overall, grocery food prices in the North Island fell by 1.4 per cent in April 2000 and increased 0.6 per cent in the South Island.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 0.7 per cent contributing the next most significant decrease to the Food Price Index in April 2000. Price falls for apples and pears, and kiwifruit were the major contributors to the overall decrease in this subgroup. This month vegetable prices rose, with tomatoes recording the most significant upward contribution to the overall Food Price Index. Overall, fruit and vegetable prices are now 9.8 per cent lower than in April 1999.



Price decreases for lamb contributed significantly to the overall decrease of 0.2 per cent in the meat, fish and poultry subgroup in April 2000. Other decreases included smallgoods and prepared meats, beef and veal, and fish. Pork and poultry both recorded increases in the April 2000 month. On an annual basis, the meat, fish and poultry subgroup is 2.2 percent higher than in April 1999.

The restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food subgroup recorded no change in April 2000, following increases of 0.3 per cent in March 2000 and 0.1 per cent in February 2000.

On a regional basis, nine of the 15 regional centres recorded decreases in April 2000. The largest decrease occurred in Wanganui. Christchurch recorded the largest increase of 1.2 per cent.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN
END


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